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Three Tips to Help You Pay for Graduate School

By Joe Aguilar

According to U.S. News and World Report, the average cost of graduate school, including tuition and fees and living costs, surpasses $31,000 per year. With this high cost of education, it is not surprising that more graduate school applicants are wondering whether advanced education is worth the hefty price tag.   During these tough economic times, it is difficult to come up with $31,000 to spend on a master's of marketing degree. Fortunately, by finding scholarships, fellowships, loans, and employer benefits, you may be able to curtail college debt.

Tip #1: Seek out Scholarships, Assistantships, and Fellowships

Many master's degree programs award scholarships to qualified students. To investigate scholarship options, get in touch with a financial aid counselor at your university. Also ask about possible university teaching assistantships or research fellowships. Take some time to browse financial aid websites, such as the FastWeb search engine or the U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid pages. From grants for minorities to scholarships from civic organizations, there's money up for grabs if you know where to look.

Tip #2: Take Advantage of Employer Benefits

U.S. News and World Report also reports that nearly 50% of private firms provide tuition reimbursement plans. Mid-sized to large firms in technical and professional fields tend to offer a significantly higher than average number of tuition benefits. Check with your employer's human resources department to discuss tuition assistance programs available at your workplace.

Tip #3: Make the Most of Student Loans

To qualify for college student loans, you need to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which assesses your financial ability to pay for your education. Subsidized Stafford Loans are your best bet because the government pays interest on subsidized Stafford Loans while you are enrolled in college.

Lastly, you might think about earning an online master's degree. With an online grad schools, you could not only save money on textbooks and transportation fees, you may be able to keep your full-time job while you attend school.

Sources:

  • CBS, The Hunt for Money

 

 


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